Congrats to BCteagirl whose name was picked out of a puffy pink purse by my three year old daughter! I will get the book in the mail to you the beginning of the week!
Thanks to everyone who entered and subscribed to our blog! And thank you for the book suggestions on stories with great character development. I have written them down so I can check them out in the future.
The author of The Disappearance, Efrem Sigel, was kind enough to join us for a guest post today!
How did I come to write The Disappearance? And why?
A fair question. After all, the disappearance of a beloved child is so horrible to contemplate, so fraught with emotion, that it must be a strange perversity that drives a writer to choose this as the subject of his book.
And in a sense, this is true. I doubt that any writer can finish a work of fiction, without being obsessed by the subject. So how did I come by this particular obsession?
Every parent has moments when he or she fears for the safety of a child who is late coming home or who is not where he is supposed to be. In such moments you may name the worst of your fears—she is kidnapped, he’s been hit by a car, there was a fire at the stadium or gym or movie house—as a way of confronting those fears, all the while knowing how small is the possibility of such an awful occurrence.
Like any parents I’ve had these fears. The Disappearance is a way of exorcising them by confronting the absolutely worst thing that can happen: the child is missing, for days, then weeks, then months. And while the mystery of what happened to him deepens, another drama begins to unfold: the drama of the lives of the parents. How do they live with this uncertainty? Can they resume their daily activities? What happens to their jobs, their circle of friends, their relationship to one another? Can any marriage survive such a tragedy?
The idea for The Disappearance came to me on a perfect summer day not unlike the one described in the first pages of the book. Returning from an errand, I got out of the car in front of an old colonial house on a lawn bathed in golden sunlight. And then I thought: what if our child was not in the house? What if he were missing not for an hour or two but just…missing? The juxtaposition of this bucolic setting and the horrible event lodged in my mind and would not go away.
At the time I was writing a lot of short stories and ideas were coming to me all the time. Some I worked on till they were stories, others I abandoned. But I knew this idea, the idea for The Disappearance, could not be resolved in the 10 or 15 pages of a short story. It needed to be a book. And the subject of that book could not simply be what happened and why. It had to go to the very core of a parent’s fear, which is not just, what happened to my child but also, what will happen to me? Will I be able to love again? Because in the end, The Disappearance is a story not about tragedy but about love and redemption.
It took a long time for me to find the narrative line and to define the characters in The Disappearance but the basic premise, the setting, the agony of the parents and how they would cope were fixed for me in those few moments on an idyllic day in August.
--Efrem Sigel, February 12, 2009
Please visit Efrem Sigel's blog for more information, or click here to purchase.
Allison's review of The Disappearance is right here.